Welcome back to Elfame! We welcome Holly Black‘s new novel in the fantastical universe: The Stolen Heir: A Novel of Elfhame.
We’re no stranger to Holly Black, and we hope you aren’t either! With bestselling series stemming from the hit sensation The Cruel Prince – it comes to the delight of her fans that The Stolen Heir is the first stop in a new Duology following the Folk of the Air series!
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About The Stolen Heir
Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth, has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge.
Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world, where she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years.
Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she had left behind.
The Stolen Heir is a fantasy novel by Holly Black, set in the world of Elfhame. It follows Oak, a young prince who was raised by humans, and Suren, a changeling queen who escaped from her cruel court. They embark on a quest to find a missing heirloom that could change the fate of Elfhame.
Holly Black excels at worldbuilding and here it was almost as strong as in the Cruel Prince books. The fae are likely to disorient or trick, some have a tendency to cruelty and others to placing glamours on people. More than that, the way they and their world are described is strikingly distinctive and when reading, we’re immersed in the universe.
At its core, this novel is about the wounds of childhood trauma and the effort of healing them. Wren’s life has left her fearful and unable to trust, especially Oak. Moreover, Oak, who is the heir to the throne, has suffered through endless assassination attempts. Additionally, his family life is difficult and dangerous. Although it’s clear that Wren and Oak care for each other, their interactions are complex and realistic. Being that they are full of lies, betrayal, and mistrust.
As we follow Wren’s narrative, we see how deeply damaged she is. Wren repeatedly reminds us that she is ugly, broken, and Oak is only with her to use her powers. Black has done a brilliant job in using Wren’s narrative to paint the world. Where Oak might seem to be funny and a source of joy, through Wren’s deep depression, she sees him as merely flimsy.
The final scenes are hugely exciting. Naturally, Black has left us yearning for more. Keep your eye peeled to see what we hear of the next book! So far, we have the title – it will be called The Prisoner’s Throne and it is due for release on February 27 2024.
Our Rating: ★★★★★
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Stolen Heir part of The Cruel Prince series?
Technically no, the Stolen Heir is a part of its own duologo. But realistically, yes. The novel is set in the same universe and follows events following the Folk of the Air series.
How old is Oak in The Stolen Heir?
Oak is around 17 in The Stolen Heir, and Wren is around 19.
Is The Stolen Heir spicy?
There are no explicit scenes in this The Stolen Heir, but be warned for violence and mature themes.